Santa Steam Trains 2020 – 5th to 24th December 2020

Make your Christmas extra special by joining us on our Santa Steam Trains. It’s the perfect start to your family Christmas...

We're delighted to confirm that Santa will be back at the Great Central Railway in 2020, and he'll be visiting passengers in our beautifully restored compartment coaches this year to allow for social distancing.

Pre-booking is essential for our Santa Express.


Update 30th November 2020: Santa Express trains to continue as planned - 

Following the announcement that our local area of Charnwood will be under Tier 3 restrictions from 2nd December until at least 16th December, we have been working with Charnwood Borough Council to confirm the situation with regard to our Santa and Winter Wonderlights trains.

We have been advised that today that our Santa trains can proceed as planned from Saturday 5th December.

We are awaiting final details from the local authority on any modifications that we may need to make to the services in order to comply with the new rules, and will publish details of any required changes as soon as possible.

We are delighted that services can continue, and very much look forward to welcoming you to the railway.


Santa has swapped his sleigh for a fun filled journey on an enchanting steam train. Ride on board our award winning Santa Specials and let Father Christmas surprise you with a an exciting present at your seat and a chat with the man himself! We look forward to welcoming you for some pure festive magic.

Santa is really looking forward to seeing all the children again and will visit each compartment during your Santa Express journey, to help Santa please make sure you fill in all the details when you book your tickets.


This year's event

For this year only, our Santa Express trains will be departing from Quorn & Woodhouse Station, LE12 8AG, with departures as per the timetable below.

Tickets start at £79.00 for a compartment for up to 4 people and £85.00 for a compartment of up to 6 people, please remember to bring a face mask as these have to be worn on the station platform, whilst boarding and disembarking from the train. You are able to remove them once you are settled in your compartment.

Our Butler Henderson Café will be open for take away sales.


Changes to the service during Tier 3 restrictions

Our local area of Charnwood is subject to Tier 3 restrictions from 2nd December until at least 16th December. During Tier 3 restrictions, there will be some changes to the Santa train services as follows:


Santa's visit:

Due to the regulations Santa is not allowed to enter the compartment. Presents will be in your compartment on boarding the train this year, and Santa will walk along the corridor during the journey, pausing at each compartment to wave and speak to the children.



Due to the regulations we are not able to provide a refreshment service onboard the train, but a take-away service will be available from our Butler Henderson Café at Quorn & Woodhouse prior to boarding the train. Mince pies will be provided as usual within each compartment, in sealed bags.


The journey

The Santa Express train service departs from Quorn & Woodhouse station this year, and carries passengers to Leicester North station where you can see Santa's sleigh, and there might even be some polar bears!

Then join a train back to Quorn & Woodhouse. The journeys last for around 70 minutes in total.


Santa Express times

The Santa Express departs from Quorn & Woodhouse station (LE12 8AG) this year. A car park is available at the station.

Date Departure times
from Quorn & Woodhouse
Compartment for up to 4 people Compartment for up to 6 people
Sat 12th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Sun 13th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Wed 16th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Fri 18th Dec (Newly added) 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Sat 19th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Sun 20th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £95.00
Mon 21st Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £99.00
Tues 22nd Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £99.00
Weds 23rd Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £99.00
Thurs 24th Dec 10:00 11:45 13:50 15:40  £89.00  £99.00



Bookings are being taken online only at present, and we also intend to offer a booking by phone service soon as our staff continue to return.



Disabled passengers

If you wish to make a booking that will include one or more disabled passengers, please email with your preferred date and time or telephone us on 01509 632315 so that we can make any necessary arrangements for your visit.


Frequently asked questions

Q. Why are Santa trains starting from Quorn & Woodhouse this year?

A. Quorn & Woodhouse station enables Santa and his elves to provide social distancing for your safety this year. Please follow the instructions from the stewards and station staff on your arrival. We also have a Christmas village and a small fun fair in the station yard at Quorn & Woodhouse and our Butler Henderson Cafe and Tin Shed will be open for take away refreshments.


Q. How is the Santa Express different from your Santa Special and Santa Deluxe trains in previous years?

A. Due to the unusual circumstances in 2020, we will be using compartment coaches this year to allow each group to be seated in their own compartment. Each separate order for tickets will be allocated to an individual compartment.


Q. Tickets are priced by compartment this year... Why do I need to choose the number of people attending?

A. It's very important that Santa and his helpers know how many people will be on the train, for everyone's safety, and to ensure that enough presents are loaded on to the train,


Q. Why do I need to choose the age of the children when booking.

A. Knowing the children's ages in advance helps Santa to select a present which is appropriate to the child's age.



All of our Santa Express and Winter Wonderlights train services have been fully risk assessed and are permissible under the current government regulations concerning the Covid 19 pandemic. As required we will be updating the risk assessments to cover any new regulations that the government may announce during the next few weeks on an ongoing basis.

In the event of a situation arising, due to the Covid situation and/or government regulation , where we have to cancel any or all of the Santa or Winter Wonderlights train services, the Great Central Railway will offer a full refund against purchased tickets.

In the event of this situation arising, please go to our web site for details of how to claim your refund, All claimed refunds due to the above will be treated with priority.


Customer Cancellation Policy

Customer cancelled bookings will not be refunded. However, with MORE than 10 days notice to your Santa date, we will endeavor to transfer your booking to another service. With LESS than 10 days notice, we will attempt to transfer you to another service upon payment of £3.00 per person administration fee.

No refunds can be provided for visitors who do not arrive at Quorn & Woodhouse in time for the booked departure time of their Santa train.

Car parking

You need to reach Quorn & Woodhouse Station, Woodhouse Road, Quorn LE12 8AG. A car park is available. We recommend that you allow at least 30 minutes before your booked departure time to allow for parking and walking to the station.

All of our Santa services in 2020 depart from (and return to) Quorn & Woodhouse Station. You'll miss the fun if you visit our other stations, Loughborough, Rothley or Leicester North.

Please ignore any brown "tourist signs" to Great Central Railway, other than ones marked Quorn.


Passengers are conveyed by the Company's trains in accordance with the Company's "Conditions of Carriage" (as shown on this website). All train services, locomotives, exhibits and other attractions appear subject to availability and are subject to change without prior notice.


Our next running day

Passenger trains are running regularly again, with trains every weekend and on selected weekdays following the relaxation of restrictions.

Our appeals

Reunification appeal - Reuniting the two halves of the Great Central Railway

Locomotive Shed Appeal
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